In the News: FRAC’s School Breakfast Report Card, National School Breakfast Week, and Fresh Partner Perspectives

We have had a busy start to 2016 here at Partners for Breakfast in the Classroom! We want to welcome back our regular readers, and extend a warm welcome to our new visitors. Many of you have just discovered our little corner of the Internet at Beyond Breakfast thanks to National School Breakfast Week, and through our partners—Food Research and Action Center, School Nutrition Foundation, and the National Association of Elementary School Principals Foundation. As we prepare to move into spring, here are the latest breakfast-in-the-classroom and school breakfast headlines from around the country!

FRAC Releases 2014-15 School Breakfast Scorecard, Large District Report

Do you know where your state stands on school breakfast performance? Last month FRAC released its 2014-15 School Breakfast Scorecard, as well as their annual large district school breakfast report, School Breakfast: Making it Work in Large Districts. Use the scorecard to track national and state trends in school breakfast service and participation, and take a closer look at how 73 of the country’s largest school districts are managing breakfast programs. Overall the reports indicate that participation in school breakfast programs continues to rise, due in part to the success of breakfast-in-the-classroom and other alternative breakfast models, as well as the growth of the Community Eligibility Program.

National School Breakfast Week 2016: Wake Up to School Breakfast!

Are you following the #NSBW16 hashtag on social media? If you aren’t—start! We are in awe of the incredible photos and stories our school nutrition professionals are sharing on Twitter and Facebook—Scratch-cooked breakfast items like homemade cinnamon rolls and hearty breakfast tacos! School breakfast-themed pajama parties! Student dance-offs in the breakfast line!—and we think you will be, too. As more of you engage your students, parents, and communities on social media, we are able to spread the message—school breakfast will change the world!

In addition to checking out the #NSBW16 stories via social media, we don’t want you to miss these important National School Breakfast Week-themed blog posts from some of our partners and colleagues:

  • Our partners at NEA Healthy Futures have several read-and-share-worthy blog posts dedicated to school breakfast this week! Check out Educators Love School Breakfast to download school breakfast-themed graphics, and don’t miss Making Time for School Breakfast, penned by NEA Secretary-Treasurer Princess Moss. Will you be in Orlando for the 2016 ESP Conference? Make sure you attend the workshop “It Takes a Village to Feed a Child: Stakeholder Engagement Strategies for Breakfast in the Classroom” on Saturday, March 12.
  • Did you know? Our partners at FRAC have a brand new blog to share with us! Bookmark the new FRAC Chat blog, and make sure you check out their first two blog posts, dedicated to all things school breakfast!
  • You also want to take a moment to drop in to the USDA blog to see their school breakfast/National School Breakfast Week coverage. We especially love the March, penned by USDA Undersecretary Kevin Concannon, entitled Where We’ve Been, and Where We’re Going Next.

Partner Perspectives: Breakfast-in-the-classroom

Part of our mission going forward in 2016 will be to bring you stories about our grant recipients and their breakfast-in-the-classroom journeys. We will talk to school nutrition directors and managers, principals, superintendents, teachers, and other stakeholders to learn how they are navigating school breakfast—from grant application, to assessment, to implementation, and beyond. We will ask them what works and what doesn’t, learn their best practices for a successful breakfast-in-the-classroom program, and learn more about what students want on their school breakfast menus. If you missed some of our more recent Partners for Breakfast in the Classroom chats, we recommend:

  • Cleta Long, director in Bibb County, Georgia, shares her district’s plan to implement a grab-n-go smoothie program at three of her high schools. High school students are notoriously hard to capture, especially at breakfast, but a small smoothie “pilot” convinced Long and her staff that their high school students are hungry for more school breakfast options!
  • Deborah Shiflett is the past president of Virginia’s SNA chapter, and a big fan of breakfast-in-the-classroom. We chatted with Deborah about the strides Virginia is making in increasing school breakfast participation. Among other factors, Shiflett credits Virginia’s Governor and first lady with raising the profile for alternative breakfast delivery models—the McAuliffe’s are amazing school breakfast champions, and both are dedicated to making sure all Virginia students are eating a healthy, nutritious morning meal.
  • Dr. Mark Joraanstad is the superintendent of Saddle Mountain USD #90 in Arizona, and a big breakfast-in-the-classroom supporter. We sat down to talk with Dr. Joraanstad about the benefits of breakfast-in-the-classroom from an administrator’s point-of-view—this is a don’t miss interview!
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